Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Your official permission: not to be a racist

Germaine Greer asked a question at the Cultural eXchanges festival that I've thought about many times. The answer isn’t easy to define. “What is one’s ancestry?”

If you got a survey - like th
e Australian population– that wants you to enter a one-adjective answer, what would you say?

In the survey, 13% claimed to be Australian, although they are clearly immigrants. Aren’t the Aborigines the real Australians? What’s worse, the cultural value of their hunter-gatherer lifestyle is almost lost due to the invasion of Western civilization. Instead, the Aborigines are treated like dogs to play ball with.

I always consider myself as German, but what does even that mean? Both my parents are Germans and their parents as well. The question is, is that enough? Actually, I can follow back my roots to a small town in Slovakia. I'm also from East Germany and there's a huge difference to the Western side; for example, I feel more bound to a Prussian ancestry.

Germans sometimes have racist thoughts, punishing especially Turkish immigrants for taking “our” jobs and causing the high unemployment. Who has the right to demand jobs for themselves, anyway? They should rather look at their own family tree and think about where their branch sticks out.

he Australian cultural problem was definitely thought-provoking and I hereby give you official permission not to be a racist. Everybody has mixed blood in some way and it is a shame that people forget that.

Nico Lehmann

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